“The fateful first meeting of Enza and Ciro takes place amid the haunting majesty of the Italian Alps at the turn of the last century. Still teenagers, they are separated when Ciro is banished from his village and sent to hide in New York’s Little Italy, apprenticed to a shoemaker, leaving a bereft Enza behind. But when her own family faces disaster, she, too, is forced to emigrate to America. Though destiny will reunite the star-crossed lovers, it will, just as abruptly, separate them once again—sending Ciro off to serve in World War I, while Enza is drawn into the glamorous world of the opera . . . and into the life of the international singing sensation Enrico Caruso. Still, Enza and Ciro have been touched by fate—and, ultimately, the power of their love will change their lives forever.
A riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny, inspired by the author’s own family history, The Shoemaker’s Wife is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write.”
One of my absolutely favorite types of books is that of the family saga. It’s a tricky thing to get right as it takes so many different writing skills from the much needed intense character development to keep readers involved to a fantastic ability to keep a plot interesting and unpredictable for longer periods of time than most novels. To tell a story about a small group of characters and keep readers interested across not only various geographic locations but across time itself is a real feat especially when it’s done as well as Adriana Trigiani’s latest work The Shoemaker’s Wife.
One of the most attractive aspects of this work was the characters themselves. Trigani created two main characters that not only were like-able but downright love-able too. Both Enza and Ciro along with their families grab the heart of the reader and make them hungry to know what would happen to them as the book unfolds. While their love story soon becomes the focal point of the novel, readers will find themselves riveted to their tales long before when their stories are being told separately for the most part. The characters also had a some what old fashioned goodness to them that was captured so perfectly. They are characters that simply steal your heart and connect on a very personal and emotional level. You become invested in their lives, their dreams and ambitions, their love and their loss. It’s a novel that carries a lot of feeling and love which translates so well through the page and the written word. It’s impossible to put down once you meet them and begin their story. The love that the author feels shines through perhaps added to all the more because she based them on members of her own family.
Over the last few months I have found myself in a reading rut of sorts. Tackling being sick myself along with caring for my young son has made me not only exhausted but also distracted to the point that I have found it hard to concentrate on much of anything. Unfortunately for the first time in my life…reading simply could not put me at ease or take me to it’s usual place of escape that I have come to love and expect from it. I tried reading multiple books with little success. I even finished a few only to completely feel underwhelmed upon their completion. I needed just the right book to get me back on my feet and this one was just what the doctor ordered. I went from being unable to read more than a few pages at a time to devouring this book in just a few days. It’s a real treat for readers…the type of novel that doesn’t come along every day. It’s definitely one to be savored and remembered.